The Childless Elders - Assumptions - the Truth
Seen recently on Channel 4 - Kirsty and Phil look at - 'looking to put family first and centre'.
Looking to put family first and centre folks. How does that sound to you? As a person living without children?
What about people who are on their own and without family?
It seems as if it's become acceptable to be forgotten. And one can become apologetic about one's lack of family.
When you think about it it is very prejudiced.
We don't matter. We are without children and therefore we don't matter?
I hear voices rising, coming over the hill…
And there's more:
* House Buying - "you only want a small place don't you, 'cos there's only you? What do you mean you want a four bedroomed place? Why? Just for you?"
THERE'S ONLY YOU.
* You have loads of money because you have no family.
I'd say you pay more for many things so you most definitely have not.
You are sexless because you have no children and, especially if you're older, you are without sexual experience, apparently. Even though you may well have been in a relationship several times over.
Suddenly you, whatever your gender, are placed in the Jane Austen maiden aunt category.
You may have been the biggest raver this side of the Humber but you are on your own and ageing therefore you are sexless.
To be honest, you may well be glad to be wearing that particular badge of honour, for many reasons we won't go into, but, it can affect you.
I'm trying to put into words - how this happens - and it's this.
A walk with my last, dearly departed dog who was at the time, elderly, and because of her arthritis in a doggie pushchair. We were on holiday in North Norfolk and strolling along the harbour at Wells Next the Sea.
It was very busy with holidaymakers and their various dogs and families. Lots of couples - older couples.
As my dog and I passed one of said couples, the woman laughed and sniggered in my face. I looked down to tell truth. Her expression was of faux sympathy whilst smirking. Her partner, to give him his due, appeared embarrassed.
I was on my own. She had a man. Look at that older woman, on her own and with a dog in a pushchair - cue snigger.
Of course this made her desirable?
(Just to be clear, my dog was arthritic. The pushchair wasn't some crazy fetish on my part).
She wasn't the only one. I walked Gilly, my dog, without her four wheels, also. I still got the 'sympathy' stares from older women with their man. For being solo? I can't say it didn't bother me, because it did. I found myself having to fight my own self to stop me feeling like some sort of failure. Because I don't have a partner? You may say I was being over sensitive. You may be right. But I didn't have an antenna searching the harbour wall for smirkers. I can tell the difference between an 'aahh - sweet' and 'he, he, he'.
Childless aloners what is our life - ageing without children and, sometimes, an aloner - like?
By the way, of course I include those of you ageing without children but, alone together, in a partnership. No labels. Just feeling alone…
Do we need to change peoples' perceptions of what living without children when aged, or just being alone, is like? Let's be clear, it can be fab.
As one ages, properly ages, it might not always be so fab.
We all deserve to still be enjoying our lives, whatever our age, and so on and so on…
We also should be allowed to state how we feel, be it lonely, ignored, mocked, harassed (yes, that too).
Having a great life is what anyone would strive for. Let me say, some people are luckier, repeat luckier, than others in some instances. Luck is not always the factor, I'll give you that. It can be sheer audacious playing the 'I'm number one' card and I don't have any problem with it. If you can pull it off you're a good 'un. It could be all sorts of things. Please don't give with the positive outlook. That's a whole psychological section on its own and too boring. Luck can play a big part. Add location to the mix. Then add health to the bowl and heigh ho. So many other factors. It might be a negative attitude creating its own scenario, but I've seen negative people doing OK because they've never dipped a toe in the risky river. Circumstances and leave it there.
We'd all love a great life be we old or young. But we must deal with the deck we've been handed as best we can. We really can't all be the same, can we?
But we all deserve respect.